McDaniel: The meaning of Ichiro

From Rachael McDaniel at FanGraphs on March 21, 2019:

It is late afternoon in Seattle, and it is the beginning of April, and it is quite cold. The Mariners are going to play the Oakland A’s. Today, the baseball starts counting. Across the infield dirt, just behind second base, a few faint letters mark the time: 2001.

More than 45,000 people are here, the most that have ever crowded into this still-new stadium. There’s less team spirit on display than you might expect. Most of the attendees aren’t flaunting jerseys; they’re bundled up, hands tucked into coats. The fading sunlight falls over the stadium from behind the pale, high clouds, and as a few Mariners take the field, running sprints across the outfield grass, a hearty cheer rises up to greet them. The men in white stretch, pulling arms and bouncing in lunges, before trotting back to the dugout. Not much longer, now. Not much longer.

High up on a view level fence, in front of a kid and their dad, you can see a white posterboard, letters painted in amateurish block text: “WELCOME ICHIRO.”

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Originally published: March 21, 2019. Last Updated: March 21, 2019.